is inviting you all on a little virtual tour of the
Institute of Sociometry installation “LLiLL, Leftist Leaflets in Little Free Libraries” by is Agents Peter Miles Bergman and Heather Link Bergman that is part of the exhibition “ Citizenship: A Practice of Society” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, curated by Zoe Larkins.
LLiLL documents a three year project that started with a neighborhood intervention of putting leftist zines in little free libraries but over time turned into an examination of the phenomena of all virtuous deeds under surveillance-capitalism – political actions, activism, creative practice, and side-hustles – to be subsumed through the lens of social media into categorized data fed advertising algorithms.
Please enjoy this artist talk from 1/27/21 which covers LLiLL but also work from the preceding decade:
For more on the project please see our event post – >
We have two zines available that tell a version of this story; LLiLL issue #1 zine & LLiLL issue #2 zine!
is PRESS designed, letterpress printed the cover, and co-published the catalog for the exhibition which is also available on our shop. Our comes with the Institute of Sociometry page signed by Heather and Peter, a letterpress print and cropped spine bookmark! limited quantity of 25 Citizenship exhibition catalogs
The following captions are written by Peter. Photos by Wes Magyar.
LLiLL issue #1: Zine shelf – this is documentation of a fun summer project placing leftist, punk, feminist, queer, green and racial justice zines in little free libraries in the bougie Denver neighborhoods of Wash Park and West Wash Park. Though I’m not all the represented publishers are on facebook, I’ve tagged the ones who are!
LLiLL issue #1: Detail – The map on the upper left shows the locations of the Little Free Libraries which were hit. Our own LLiLL issue #1 zine is on the left of the shelf.
LLiLL issue #1 & #2: Detail – LLiLL issue #2 zine is on the right. Issue #2 takes place the following summer…
LLiLL issue #2 & #3: Overview – the content for issue #2 is on the right wall. Issue #3, on the far wall, represents new content for the installation is by my collaborator and ’artner Heather Link-Bergman.
LLiLL issue #2: The “LLiLL” – the summer after placing all the zines in the Little Free Libraries I refurbished this stolen newspaper box, stocked it with zines and local independent magazines, and placed it in front of our house. It’s currently out from of the MCA and stocked with the zines in the exhibition every Tuesday morning.
LLiLL issue #2: Detail – after getting curious about who was taking the zines out of the LLiLL I bought a $19 Chinese security camera called “Cam-Hi” and trained it on the LLiLL. It took motion triggered photos and videos. This image shows the evidence.
LLiLL issues #2 & #3: Overview – the left facing wall is a live feed of the museums security system which alternates every 20 seconds between a shot of the LLiLL out front and the gallery itself, putting museum patrons under surveillance.
LLiLL issue #2: Detail – these are the nine best images that Cam-Hi captured (out of 3,704) over a four month period. Proof that even a machine can produce well composed art if you let it have enough tries.
LLiLL issue #2: Detail – every day for the four month duration of LLiLL #2 I logged all activity on printed out spreadsheets with a red pen. I’d check the LLiLL to see if any zines were gone or if anything was disturbed then go through all the captured images, cross reference captured video and then write down information about the person captured in the photos and videos and whether the interaction constituted an “Impression” (looking at the LLiLL) an “Engagement” (browsing or even touching the LLiLL) or a “Conversion” (taking a zine).
LLiLL issue #3: Detail – shot of the LLiL in front of the museum through the security system live feed. The blue bench in the background is by Shannon Finnegan, another artist in the exhibition.
LLiLL issue #2: Overview – the video in the center of the wall is an 1:20:00 time lapse of all 3,704 photos and dozens of highlight videos of people walking in front of the LLiLL over a four month period.
LLiLL issue #2: Overview – the bar graph on the left is composed of a grid of hundreds of photos tacked to the wall off all the Conversions, Engagements, and Impressions. Color coded thread (matching all the color coded tacks) ties select pictures back to their logs and forward to the Issue #3 market research surveys.
LLiLL issue #2: Overview – color coded thread (matching all the color coded tacks) ties select pictures back to their logs and forward to the Issue #3 market research surveys. The large picture with the can of Steak & Shake chili in front of the LiiLL documents the most bizarre conversion in which a man in a silver cape ransacked the LLiLL around 3am leaving behind the can of chili, a bunch of Steak & Shake paper hats and some Volkswagen promotional materials.
LLiLL issue #3: Overview – work by Heather Link-Bergman. The far wall’s base layer is composed of 14 point market research surveys that were run on 300 randomly selected images from the 3,704 image set that tracked characteristics such as direction of travel, presence of pet, and most importantly assigned a “Social Conformity Index” score from 0 norm-core to 10 total freak.
LLiLL issue #3: Detail – the colored squares are color coded post-its (to go with the color coded tacks and thread) with pithy handwritten observations about the survey and accompanying image. The one on the far left reads “Pastel Cardigan”.
Overview – the framed designs detail the traits of four demographic clusters defined by the data analysis of the 300 randomized subsample; Comfortable Complacents, Alt Curious, Bohemian Ways, and Iconoclastic Lifestyles. The video is a 40 minute recorded Zoom seminar by Heather titles “Woke Not Broke: Using the Social Conformity Index System to Asses Zinability” in which she details data driven marketing strategies for turning your zine side hustle into a successful propaganda juggernaught! LLiLL issue #3:
MCA Denver is open for timed entry. $10 tickets must be pre-purchased off of mcadenver.org. Two week blocks of tickets are released every other Monday. Saturday Nov. 7th, which will be in this next two week block is “Penny Saturday” where admission is a penny for Colorado residents. The LLiLL out front is stocked every Tuesday. It’s reported that the zines go fast. (They are also all available in the gift shop.)